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Lumenation Lumen LED Color; Smart LED Bulbs

Tempted by the thought of a color-changing LED, but too broke to drop hundreds of dollars on the Philips Hue kit? Consider the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb from Lumenation, a $65 standalone bulb that's just as colorful as those Hues. You'll control it on your smartphone over a Bluetooth connection, so there's no need for a hub -- just screw the Lumen bulb in, download the app, and start figuring out whether it's teal, fuchsia, or lime green-tinted light that does a better job of tying the room together. Lumen's app offers a few colorful preset cycles, along with fun features like a music sync mode and a wake-up light, but it isn't quite as smart or as well-connected as the Philips Hue bulbs are. Still, at a (relatively) affordable price of $65, it's a novelty that might feel like less of a risk.

The Good The Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb offers plug-and-play simplicity at a relatively reasonable price. Each bulb's 30,000-hour lifespan is double what you'll get from a Philips Hue bulb.
The Bad The Lumen app only offers basic control of the light, with none of the automation controls or IFTTT compatibility you'll get from Philips. The bulb itself is also a little dimmer than we'd like.
The Bottom Line For basic needs, the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb might make sense, but consider waiting to see if the app improves, and to see what the competition will bring to the table. For more advanced control of your lights, a Philips Hue setup is probably worth the extra cash.
Part Number: TL800


That said, the strength of the Lumen's hardware is actually a bit bittersweet, given that the software is so much of a weakness by comparison. A smart bulb like this just begs for automation scheduling, but all the Lumen app offers is the underwhelming wake-up mode. The potential is there for conditional, if/then statement-based automation, too -- something we've already seen with the happy marriage between Hue bulbs and IFTTT . But again, the Lumen app falls short, only offering an underdeveloped proximity mode and an incoming call mode that doesn't seem to work all that well.
The bright side to all of this is that apps can get better, and hopefully Lumen's app will do just that and will catch up to its bulb in the process. Fortunately, along with the upcoming Android release, Lumenation is promising major app improvements, including a revamped proximity mode and even a music-syncing feature. If and when those features arrive, the $69.99 Lumen LED bulb might be a tempting way for the color-curious to dip their feet into smart-bulb waters. If you're looking to control more than two bulbs, though, you're probably better off just springing for a Philips Hue Starter Kit.

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